Article Highlights

  • Japan’s household spending up by 1.2% vs. 1.8% decline expected, 3.1% dip previous
  • Japan’s unemployment rate rises from 3.2% to 3.3% in February
  • Japan’s monthly retail sales down by 2.3% vs. 1.1% decline last month
  • Japan’s annualized retail sales up by 0.5% vs. 1.6% uptick expected, 0.2% decline last month
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The return of many Asian session traders from their holidays didn’t bode well for risk-taking, as forex traders bought the Greenback across the board. What’s up with that?!

Major Events:

Japan’s data dump – The Land of the Rising Sun made headlines today when it printed a couple of tier 1 reports. The unemployment rate surprised to the downside with its uptick from 3.2% to 3.3% while retail sales also fell short with only an annualized gain of 0.5% when analysts had been expecting a 1.6% uptick. The household spending somewhat eased the sting with its 1.2% increase against last month’s 3.1% decline.

Weak Asian equities – Asian session traders who returned from their Easter holidays wobbled at the start of their week, thanks to bearish sentiments from the equities markets. Yen traders dealt with some profit-taking ahead of the fiscal year end as well as rumors of another stimulus package from the BOJ. Meanwhile, a strong dollar weighed on gold prices, which also dragged the Aussie a bit lower.

All eyes on Yellen’s speech – In a couple of trading sessions Fed head honcho Janet Yellen is due to give a speech where she is widely expected to echo the sentiments of some of her hawkish friends. On the other hand, some analysts point out that the latest set of mixed U.S. data would be enough for the Fed to hold off from another rate hike in the short-term period.

In any case, the anticipation is causing ruckus among market players. Make sure you stick around when Yellen gives her speech!

Major Currency Movers:

USD – The Greenback recovered from yesterday’s mixed U.S. reports and gained some traction on speculations of a hawkish speech by Yellen.

EUR/USD slipped by 10 pips (-0.09%), GBP/USD inched 21 pips lower (-0.15%), and USD/JPY popped up by 25 pips (+0.22%).

JPY – Profit-taking ahead of the fiscal year end for Japan as well as rumors of more stimulus from the BOJ weighed on the yen throughout the session.

EUR/JPY jumped by 17 pips (+0.13%), GBP/JPY rose by 12 pips (+0.07%), and AUD/JPY popped up by 25 pips (+0.29%).

Watch Out For:

  • 8:00 am GMT: Euro Zone private loans (y/y) (expected to remain at 1.4%)
  • 10:00 am GMT: U.K.’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) to print its quarterly statement

See more:

U.S. Session Forex Recap

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